The Political Turbulence of Climate Change

The abnormal weather patterns that have caused havoc on every continent over the past year have revived concerns about global warming and climate change. Having listened for years to passionate speeches about these subjects from scientists and politicians on both sides of the bitter debate, I don’t believe any of them.

However, I am aware that in the millions of years that this planet has existed, there has never before been 7.5 billion people living on it, and we know that every person pollutes the world in some small way every day. We should be concerned about this, particularly as in the decade in which I was born, there were only two billion inhabitants who could impact on the environment.

Therefore, it is prudent that we should take some positive action to progressively clean up the planet.

What the best plan could be is beyond my skills, but as Don Bradman said: “When in doubt, always play forward”. Scrapping the carbon tax would cause us to play backwards.

If Tony Abbott runs on that platform, he will lose the election. Most voters will regard it as an act of irresponsibility. But, as he has already changed his mind twice on this subject, who knows what might happen.

Peter Fitzsimons and the Republic

One of my life’s privileges is that I count Peter Fitzsimons as one of my friends, and I have enjoyed reading all of his books. His latest “Eureka” ranks with “Batavia” as his best. It is sub-titled “The Unfinished Revolution”.

If you read it objectively — and it is written in a factual style that stirs excitement — you will join the ranks of Australian Republicans instantly.

The Eureka Stockade is a tragic story of a dumb and oppressive colonial government, led by two incompetents, La Trobe and Hotham, who deliberately murdered miners at Ballarat. For sure, the miners contained some wild Irishmen who started a rebellion against the cost of mining licenses, and this inflamed a government that had a very low opinion of the Irish anyway.

There was fault on both sides, but the fact is that each individual miner paid more for renting his few yards of creek bed than a grazier paid to lease 10,000 acres nearby.

The tragedy showed that Australia is a totally different nation to privileged realm of the English gentry, and always will be. It’s time to now show that we are utterly independent, but to get anywhere in achieving that goal, we will have to get rid of States and their Governors first of all.

Will Obama’s second term be a great one?

I hope so. He was disappointing in his first term, but he probably handled the volatile financial recession better than any of his political opponents could have done. He also had to overcome a lot of racist prejudice because he is a black man.

He has started his second term well by tackling the gun lobby head-on and proposing positive solutions to illegal immigration, but his big test will be to turn the budget deficit into a surplus.

I am one who believes in not spending money that you don’t have, unless there is a dire emergency. The economic crisis situation has now passed, so there is no valid reason to continue with deficits.

Having said that, he does have to spend money wisely and urgently on America’s infrastructure. It is in a decrepit state. Even worse than Australia’s.

He also has challenges with Foreign Relations. Primarily, he must make the USA a genuine partner of other nations on a basis of equality, not as a dominant oppressive force. The world has had enough of an America that smothers them.