Friday, February 29, 2008

Global Visitors


Sitemeter has its uses. This graph plots the last 100 visits to this blog. The traffic has increased from the U.S. since it was picked up by Voices Without Votes a website which is a project of Global Voices Online. It is funded by Reuters.

Voices' stated aim:

Voices without Votes opens a window on what non-Americans are saying in blogs and citizen media about US foreign policy and the 2008 presidential elections.
Now I was going to talk about a prophet in his own country, but bloggers have enough paranoia. At times we all feel like Hal from 2001 A Space Odyssey, floating through cyberspace, voices without visits.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Macklin's Ministry: Taking the blinkers off

You have to be retired and living in Broome on a hot, humid, wet-season afternoon to watch a National Press Club address outside election time. Today’s guest was Jenny Macklin, Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. For a former deputy ALP leader she is neither charismatic nor that well known. The latter is unlikely to last long given the range and gravity of her portfolios and her obvious commitment to getting things done.

At times over the years I have wondered where she was. A low profile deputy can be an asset sometimes but not in an opposition having trouble being heard as we experienced during Simon Crean's leadership. Their personalities and media images were just too much alike.

Today Jenny delivered her speech competently and effectively, in contrast to Bob Brown's last Press Club address. After a few early stumbles she warmed up and seemed to engage her audience. It was a very solid performance from an experienced and savvy politician. Mind you I've been over magnetism since the 70s. Give us results any day.

I hoped to find out what’s happening with indigenous housing and was not disappointed. There seems to be a clear plan to involve communities in housing design, construction and related training. A breathe of fresh air from the negativity of all levels of government about why local indigenous people, who need real work and training, can’t get it in their own community.

This has been just as true of large communities as you might have expected of small ones. Millions of dollars have been spent on construction without apprenticeships being offered. The skills shortage has been a joke in much of remote Australia. This is especially the case where there are no mining projects, which have seen some belated but welcome developments in indigenous training. The disconnect between job vacancies, young indigenous people seeking employment and a host of government agencies empowered to organise training, has been a continuing disgrace.

Let's have no more excuses. Let's have no more "yes, but..." or undelivered promises. Hopefully Kevin Rudd's accountability based on real performance targets will put an end to the charade.

Macklin seemed to be on top of the issues related to home ownership, leasing and land rights. Whether she can solve them is another matter. She quoted Walgett resident Joseph Flick’s advice: "Take the blinkers off and look for new options". It will be interesting to see what the response to the options is from aboriginal leaders. There are certainly concerns about the extinguishment of native title claims if land rights are alienated by government building.

The Australian’s initial news report of the speech seemed to embrace the spirit of reconciliation, and bipartisanship. There were no references to ideological socialist experiments that have characterised past coverage:

Ms Macklin’s housing plan, announced today, will deliver more flexibility in the current 99-year lease scheme over communal indigenous land, offering 20- or 40-year leases.
New leases in land rights overhaul (The Australian 27 February 2008)
Jenny was at her best when handling questions. There were two questions about Michael Mansell’s attack on her that she answered quite effectively. The rest of question time showed that she is on top of both the problems and the detail of her ministerial responsibilities. Her position on quarantining of welfare payments promises to create ongoing debate. It can apply to all welfare recipients with children who are at risk, regardless of race. It will be used on a case-by-case basis. My understanding is that this is not the way the NT Intervention has worked so far where it seems to have been applied to whole communities.

The 2020 Summit might be short on female leadership but Macklin showed that the Cabinet is neither short on female numbers or talent. It was an informative, if not entertaining, presentation. It was a refreshing change to watch Tom Calma, from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, nodding in apparent approval.

We can only hope that Jenny Macklin will be remembered as one of the best ministers in the Rudd government. The stakes are too high for anything else. She seems to have made a flying start and to share Kevin's impressive work ethic.

For the full speech see Closing the Gap - Building an Indigenous Future

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No Country for film makers

Great to see an Australian documentary filmmaker winning an Oscar. Shame that Eva Orner feels that she has to work outside the country:

Orner says she will be forced to stay in New York because the Australian film industry can not support the type of films she wants to make.
Orner says documentaries such as Taxi to the Dark Side "just don't exist in Australia".
Aust lacks opportunities, Oscar winner Orner says (ABC News 26 February 2008)
It can't be for lack of pressing subjects. Yesterday's Coroner's report into the deaths of 22 aborigines in the Kimberley region is one glaring starting point.

The impact of the mining and energy boom, especially on the environment in the West, cries out for some first class film journalism or journalism of any kind for that matter.

The so-called underbelly of crime and corruption has barely been scratched.

Open the dailies and stick a pin to choose a topic: binge drinking and illegal drugs; conspicuous wealth and conspicuous homelessness; corporate power and corruption.

There are also plenty of more uplifting themes to be explored as well. I posted last week on a good news story, the premiere of Desert Heart, a documentary by David Batty of Bush Mechanics fame.

Perhaps Dick Pratt could redeem himself by funding some documentary projects. If finance is a major stumbling block, we must ask why the corporate sector has had its hands in its pockets during a time of unprecedented growth.

Hope someone takes up the issue of corporate funding of documentaries at the 2020 Summit. Go for it Cate.

Please make your suggestions for topics in Comments.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lionel Rose: Australian hero



Lionel Rose: World Champion and 1968 Australian of the Year

Lionel became World Bantamweight Champion on 26 February 1968 by defeating Figthing Harada in Tokyo. He was the Australian of the year for 1968, the first aborigine in that role. He was only nineteen.

Lionel was not a political person in his youth unlike his American counterpart Muhammad Ali. Ali's boxing licence had been suspended a year earlier because of his refusal to be drafted for the Vietnam War. He was also stripped of his world title.

You didn't have to be into boxing to watch Lionel's bouts. We all did. There was no traffic in Melbourne if it was televised. His trainer was Jack Rennie - no relation, though it is a family name.

When he became the greatest boxer in Australian history, he was only nineteen.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dallas: too bizarre to be true

It could only happen in Texas. Some reports about Barack Obama's rally on Wednesday in Dallas are claiming that the US Secret Service haven't learnt much in 44 years.

Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.
Star-Telegram.com (21 February 2008)
Can't find any other big media coverage. Hope they take more care when he's President. Death on the Campaign Trail is not a work of fiction.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Bridge to the 21st Century?

Earlier posts have explored why Hillary Clinton's supporters think she matters. Why then does Barack Obama matter to his ballooning band of followers.

Andrew Sullivan presented a detailed case for why Barack is the candidate for the times last December. Move over baby boomers, time to overthrow the old paradigms. Obama offers transformation, generational change, and potential re-branding of the United States. His is a fresh "face", post Vietnam politics, post civil right politics, post ideological polarisation American style. Post the politics of the past. On war, on religion and on race he will be a uniting force. He will bring a truce to the culture civil wars.

Sullivan argued that:

he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us.

Obama’s candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly—and uncomfortably—at you.

At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war—not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a momentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade—but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama—and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce.
Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters (The Atlantic.com December 2007)

Strong rhetoric but it was supported by a detailed examination of Obama's positions on the war, on race and on religion. It is an argument which is clearly winning in progressive American politics. It's a substantial case for change. Let's hope it will have real substance in practice.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Democrats of a Certain Age

With Barack Obama taking Wisconsin and Hawaii decisively, is it the end of Hilary Clinton's bid to be the first woman President? Will the rush to Obama roll through Ohio and Texas? Can Clinton's supporters slow his bandwagon?

Two Huffington Posts from the States earlier this week indicate that there may be some life left in the pro-Clinton forces.

Firstly, a feminist perspective from Karen Stabiner questioned Obama's liberal credentials

At a televised campaign stop, someone asked him how he felt about the ad campaign. Obama, grave-faced and sympathetic in tone, opined that when Senator Clinton was 'feeling down,' she went on the attack to make herself feel better; that is, she committed an error in judgment because she was in a bad mood. That was the moment when I, and other women of a certain age, all over the country, winced.
The Change Candidate Needs to Change His Tone Towards Women (17 February 2008)

Stephen Schlesinger took a very different tack trying to focus on fighting issues:
Of extraordinary importance, she has taken the lead on the most important economic crisis to face our country in decades. She was among the first of the first Democratic contenders to propose a bold economic recovery program designed to rescue the nation from recession.

...In many ways, Senator Clinton is to the left of Senator Obama. Hillary Clinton has outlined a program of universal health insurance -- meaning that every person in America would be covered.

...Lastly, Hillary Clinton is a fighter for change. Senator Obama, on the other hand, is a self-described conciliator. What Democrats want today, however, is a battler, not a motivational speaker.
Why Hillary Clinton Still Matters (16 February 2008)

These two commentators voice liberal Democrat sentiments which in normal times would have united the party behind Hillary. These are not ordinary times and Barack's secular evangelism is winning the day.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Really Achieving His Childhood Dreams


Randy Pausch Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

If you have 76 minutes to spare, watch Randy Pausch. Join the 382,383 viewers who have watched this educational lecture.

What can you say about someone who is dying of pancreatic cancer who tells a colleague that if she retires life's not worth living. He's still battling and still having fun.

Thanks to Graeme Daniel of wwwtools For Education whose online newsletter led me to Youtube's Education category. A refreshing change from News & Politics.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Desert Heart: Back to Country

Winpa by Daniel Walbidi

For the second time in a week Broome's Sun Pictures was the setting for an important indigenous event. Wednesday saw a gathering of locals to watch and celebrate Kevin Rudd's Sorry speech. Last night brought the premiere of Desert Heart, a documentary by David Batty of Bush Mechanics fame.

It is the story of the Yulparija who left the Great Sandy Desert forty years ago. They now live as saltwater people in Bidyadanga south of Broome. In 2006 young artist Daniel Walbidi joined members of the tribe on a journey back to their land. They were supported by Emily Rohr of Short Street Gallery.

For more about their artwork, see Junk for Code.

The film, and the work of these artists which documents their country, are inspiring. Don't miss it when the ABC screens it in March.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

What about Work Choices, Laurie?



Laurie Oakes let us all down in his interview with Brendan Nelson on the Sunday program this morning. He gets points for grilling him about the sad "sorry" speech. But we had to endure a Dorothy Dixer about the email between Kevin Rudd and Brian Burke in 2005.

That might be today's story but not the other big one of the week that should have been aired but wasn't. That was the Coalition's complete disregard for the people's verdict on Work Choices by effectively blocking changes in the Senate until July at least. Their timely rediscovery of the Senate Committee system is disgraceful.

Not one question from Laurie about Work Choices. He had pointed out Nelson's back flip on the apology. Yet he failed to raise Nelson's complete reversal of the position he took after the election:

We have listened and we have learned, and one of the issues that was very important to the Australian people in changing the Government on November 24 was that of WorkChoices.

We've listened to the Australian people, we respect the decisions they have made, and WorkChoices is dead.
Nelson declares WorkChoices dead (ABC News 19 December 2007)
Instead we had a reprise of Nelson's famous "I've never voted Liberal in my life" speech in 1993.

Not good enough, Laurie! Reform of Work Choices was unquestionably the number one issue of the 2007 election.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Egos shouldn't stop a Dream administration

(Huffington Post: AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

During the debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton before Super Tuesday, the question of whether they would have one another as Vice Presidential running mates arose. Though non-committal they naturally thought the other would make a good VP.

Jennifer Baumgardner blogged on the Huffington Post today about Hillary:
A bitter reality is beginning to sink in for me, a daughter of the Second Wave. Here we are: several generations raised with the mantra that a "woman" could be president, and learning that we don't mean any woman who actually exists.
A Woman in the White House (15 February 2008)
It struck me that they would make a powerful team, not just as an election ticket but also as an administration. The one who doesn't get the nomination could take specific responsibility for areas such as health and global warming. Dick Cheney has shown that the Vice President's role does not have to be just ceremonial (no irony or sarcasm intended).

The recent election of the Kevin Rudd/Julia Gillard led Labor government in Australia shows the power and the potential of such an alliance.

It would be a great pity if the talents and potential contribution of one of these two is lost because of egos or political expediency.

The cliché about the dream team feels just that, a dream. Realpolitik or real politics? to borrow the spin, we live in hope.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

World Heritage Listing for the Kimberley?

It was great pity that the environmental issues facing North Western Australia received so little coverage and debate during the Federal election. The proposed Browse Basin gas hub(s) in the Kimberley and the World Heritage listing of Ningaloo Reef are just two of the critical decisions facing both the State and Federal governments.

With all the activity in Canberra it would have been easy to miss Peter Garrett's announcement of a long-term environmental assessment of the Kimberley region. He suggested that this could lead to world heritage listing of the Kimberley. He also flagged short term plans to help protect the environment such as support for a single LNG hub.

According to the Broome Advertiser (14 February 2008), Barry Haase, Liberal MHR for Kalgoorlie, attacked Garrett's statement as a ploy to win votes. Haase supported the urgent commercialisation of the basin and questioned whether heritage listing would bring tourists:

The heritage listing of Shark Bay has not caused an influx of tourists; I suggest that, while not wilderness, these gas plants may themselves become tourist icons in the future.
Haase's comments brought a swift rebuke from Save the Kimberley's Peter Tucker who suggested he "get his head out of the sand and step into the 21st century".

Meanwhile the Advertiser also reported that George Negus, the Kimberley's new best friend, plans to meet traditional owners when he vistis the region next month. Perhaps George can raise the national profile of the environmental issues in this part of the world.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stand by us

Stunning day!

It was so good to see Australians taking a meaningful part in our democratic processes. Parliament house is usually a remote, unwelcoming place. Television broadcasts rate lower than the cable chess channel. We have had a two day celebration on Capitol Hill which has engaged most of us around the country. People were up in the West at 7am to watch the apology speeches and ceremony. Members of the stolen generation travelled to Canberra from places like Broome and further away to be there. No easy trip I can assure you.

Kevin Rudd did us proud. Brendan Nelson has a way to go. He seems to want to be liked by everyone, an impossible aim in politics. Yesterday was not a debate about the Northern Territory intervention or the appropriate place to placate the white armband, whitewash view of aboriginal history.

It's worth recording the names of those Members of the House of Representatives who were deliberately absent: Sophie Mirabella Wilson Tuckey, Don Randall, Alby Schultz and Dennis Jensen. Theirs was not just a parliamentary gesture it was an insult to the Australian electorate whose views are clear. They are paid to be there on occasions like this, even when they lose the argument. As opponents of the apology, their presence would have been a powerful part of the reconciliation process.

More importantly it was a deliberate insult to all the aboriginal people in the chamber, the great hall, those outside on the lawns, in places like the Broome's Sun Pictures or just watching at home. The boycotting MPs did not show the respect that is customarily shown by indigenous people to their guests.

The rest of the nation acknowledged the wrongs of the past and stood up for a better future.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Welcome to country

Watching the opening of Federal parliament with its welcome to country definitely brought a warm inner glow. For many reasons. Tomorrow's sorry story will be hot stuff.

Today was only spoiled by Barry Haase, MHR for Kalgoorlie, whingeing about not seeing the wording of the apology which he does not support in any form. Barry had the largest swing in Western Australia against him in November.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Help send members of Stolen Generation to Canberra

Getup! are raising money to help send some indigenous people from the Kimberley to Canberra for Wednesday's apology.

To donate, click here.

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The American Numbers game

Every four years we become instant experts on the US elections. The primaries are providing more entertainment than usual.

First the Democrats. Unless Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton dramatically change the current trend, a hung convention seems certain with all the accompanying problems. Because of the proportional allocation of delegates it's likely to be close till the end. The role of the super delegates will be crucial and controversial and may help the Republicans. For an in depth but pessimistic view see Avoiding a Convention Train Wreck by Doug Kendall.

For the Republicans, John McCain should win comfortably. However, his unpopularity with conservatives may result in Mike Huckabee becoming his choice for Vice Presidential running mate. Huckabee's creationist view of evolution should bring some heavy science to the fight on global warming. He’ll probably fix it on the third day.

The Republican system of winner-take-all helped destroy Mitt Romney's chances. I wonder if he would accept the VP position on the ticket. I'm sure that if they used the proportional method we'd have a situation similar to the Democrats. Doubtless some psephologist has worked out the figures. I'm sure Poll Bludger et al will enlighten us.

The assassination of Robert Kennedy during the 1968 primaries showed that nothing is certain in this American numbers game.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Slaughterhouse-Five: the anti-glacier novel


Kurt Vonnegut, who died last year, finished writing Slaughterhouse-Five in 1968 after a long gestation. It was published in 1969. I hadn’t read it until this week. Its central theme is the fire bombing of Dresden on 13 February 1945. Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden at the time and saw the devastation firsthand.

It’s the anniversary this week. The bombing has always been controversial. The nature of the attack: was it a war crime? The extent of the death toll: was it grossly overestimated (as the novel seems to do) because of nazi propaganda? Was it hushed up after the war by Allied military and governments?

The novel remains a modern classic for a number of reasons. It is essentially autobiographical though its main character Billy Pilgrim is fictional. Science fiction and time travel are unexpected aspects of this war memoir. It’s from a completely different planet from Norman Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead” that was based on his own war experiences. The planet’s called Tralfamadore to which he is taken by aliens and placed in a zoo. At times you feel like you wandered into the middle of a Phillip K. Dick short story. It’s Ken Kesey in a real asylum.

Billy flashes back and forward in dreams, conscious recollections and excursions in time. He believes that we all live forever and can move between our experiences.
Vonneguts’s “Duty Dance with Death” uses a meta-narrative. Kurt is only a minor character in the story but he reflects on his Armageddon, its broader context and the writing process throughout the book. We even get:

Robert Kennedy, whose summer home is eight miles from the home I live in all year round, was shot two nights ago. He died last night. So it goes.
Martin Luther King was shot a month ago. He died, too. So it goes.
There are lots of modern parallels that could be drawn from this novel. Billy Pilgrim would not make any of them if he time travelled to our world:
‘It was alright,’ said Billy. ‘Everything is all right, and everybody has to do exactly what he does.’
The death and destruction of this “telegraphic schizophrenic” tale is supposed to speak for itself. So it goes.

"Peace.", wrote Vonnegut at the end of its lengthy sub-title. It's an "anti-glacier" book: Wars "were as easy to stop as glaciers. [They] keep coming."

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Pacific Solution Final

We should all feel better tonight knowing that the Howard government's disgraceful Pacific solution to asylum seekers is over. 'Sorry' next!

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Global warming: Where's Huckabee?

Mike Huckabee is still running for President and may become John McCain's Vice Presidential running mate. He believes in creation rather than evolution putting him George W's camp. More important may be his position on global warming. His official website doesn't mention it. He's for 'Energy Independence':

We have to explore, we have to conserve, and we have to pursue all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass.
No details, no direct mention of problems with climate change. We'll have a scientific response, but whose science? We can't rely on fossil fuels just like we can't rely on fossil evidence.

He did raise his hand at one debate when asked if he believed that "global climate change is a serious threat and caused by human activity".

For some interesting material on the candidates and their policies the Washington Post's Issue Coverage Tracker is worth a visit.

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Cable Beach Sunset

video

The wet season is finally in full swing in Broome.

Next couple of months are cyclone season. This is a clip from last year's dry.

Can't beat Cable Beach sunsets. Always best when there is some cloud.

Enjoy!

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Primaries: Personalities not Policies

The Australian media including the onliners have embraced the US primaries. Can this be the same people who were sick of elections, campaigns and polls? Mind, there is no danger at this stage of the commentators becoming carried away with analysis of the major issues or the candidates policy responses. Even, or perhaps especially, in the U.S. it's all personalities and media performance.

I've been looking for some coverage of Climate policy. As the likely Republican candidate, John McCain's environmental credentials demand more scrutiny. Two progressive U.S. commentators have radically contrasting views.

Firstly Joseph Romm of the Climate Progress blog:

Right now, McCain is not a straight-talking or courageous politician on global warming — though he is vastly superior to all of the other GOP candidates.
If McCain gets the nomination, I wonder if he will be more honest with the public. If not, I would strongly recommend that his opponent expose his doubletalk...
(McCain’s Double-Talk Express on Global Warming (Climate Progress 25 January 2008)
More recently:
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both have issued detailed energy and climate platforms. They far outclass John McCain and Mitt Romney, who have not.
(How to Pick the President (Climate Progress 4 February 2008)
The New Republic is an unlikely place to find a McCain fan but its editor Franklin Foer apparently believes that he might surprise:
"...there are the possibilities for doing some interesting things with McCain as a leader, and I’m mostly thinking about global warming – where McCain has the best track record on energy and environment on the Republican side in the Senate,” Foer concluded. “So, I think you have some really good possibility for a Nixon-to-China type solution to climate change if he decides that that’s going to be the thing he is going to use to build a bridge."
New Republic Editor: McCain Could Be 'Nixon-to-China' on Global Warming (The Business & Media Institute 2 February 2008)
One can only hope that there will be more interest in policies, both in the U.S and Australia, once the two candidates are known.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fighting Global Warming US Style

Web Research 101

It’s Super Tuesday in the US Primaries this week. Time to look at the Big 4 candidates’ global warming policies as presented on their official websites.

Republicans: The Once and the Future Deniers

John McCain

McCain claims to be a warrior against global warming but his official website is disappointing. His environment policy lives under Stewards of Our Nation's Rich Natural Heritage. No irony intended! The accompanying video sounds more like John Howard’s last position: more nuclear energy, anti-Kyoto, vague on concrete proposals. He even talks about a new Kyoto that must include China and India. A furphy that sounds very familiar.

He is in favour of a cap and trading but there are no details or targets to be found here. The claim is:
He has offered common sense approaches to limit carbon emissions by harnessing market forces that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster, reduce our dependence on foreign supplies of energy, and see to it that America leads in a way that ensures all nations do their rightful share.
(A warning about his videos: It’s hard to stay awake.)

Mitt Romney

No surprises on Romney’s website. It does not even list the environment as one of the key issues, much less global warming. A site search for ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ produced no meaningful responses. His energy policy is about achieving “independence” from foreign oil.

There is a relevant February 2007 Press Release on the site:
Unfortunately, some in the Republican Party are embracing the radical environmental ideas of the liberal left. As governor, I found that thoughtful environmentalism need not be anti-growth and anti-jobs. But Kyoto-style sweeping mandates, imposed unilaterally in the United States, would kill jobs, depress growth and shift manufacturing to the dirtiest developing nations.

Republicans should never abandon pro-growth conservative principles in an effort to embrace the ideas of Al Gore. Instead of sweeping mandates, we must use America's power of innovation to develop alternative sources of energy and new technologies that use energy more efficiently.
It’s George W. Bush four years ago.

Democrats: Me Too

Barack Obama



Obama’s website has lots of rhetoric and lots of detail. A sample:
At a Glance

* Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2050
* Invest in a Clean Energy Future
* Support Next Generation Biofuels
* Set America on Path to Oil Independence
* Improve Energy Efficiency 50 Percent by 2030
* Restore U.S. Leadership on Climate Change
Sounds good. He always does. Classy video. Like Rudd he has a plan.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton sounds like someone who has known AL Gore for a long time. Her plan is detailed and has lots of overlap with Obama's.
Centered on a cap and trade system for carbon emissions, stronger energy and auto efficiency standards and a significant increase in green research funding, Hillary's plan will reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and address the looming climate crisis.
Where to now?

Let’s assume a Democrat win in November (anything is possible in US politics – look at George W’s amazing career). How will the Congress embrace a “war on global warming”? For many of them it is a sub-category of the “war on terror”. Obama has the potential to take the people with him. Hillary seems more capable of getting practical results. We can expect lots of misinformation from the conservatives, before and after November, whoever the Democrat candidate turns out to be.

Watch this space!

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