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PMs climate consensus
letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 9 August 2010

You report that Julia Gillard acted alone in announcing that, if elected, Labor will establish a Citizens Assembly of 150 “to examine over 12 months the evidence on climate change” (“Citizen Gillard shuts cabinet out”, 2 August).

Why did she do that?  Her approach may reflect  a leader’s judgment  that other ministers were wrong in arguing it was “important that the government not be seen to be waiting to see what the rest of the world did before deciding what is should do”.

True, environmental lobby groups point to a majority in Australia favouring government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But such polling is lower in important overseas countries and it would be foolhardy for Australia to take the lead before there is a comprehensive international agreement. That is not likely to occur until answers are provided to the many questions about the supposed consensus science, such as why there has been no increase in average global temperatures since 1998 despite the large increase in emissions.

Gillard’s approach, involving the over-ruling of her fellow Ministers and including the establishment of an independent Commission of scientific experts, looks to be more sensible and practical than the reported attitude of fellow Ministers and the one-sided environmental lobby groups.

Campaign spokesman and cabinet minister  Chris Bowen has also confirmed that cabinet is “completely united in the view that we need to build up a ground-up consensus for climate change action” ( August 3).

Des Moore
South Yarra Vic

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