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Lindsay Tanner's Climate change balancing act

Apologist for growthism and global capitalism

Linsay Tanner has long been an apologist for growthism and nothing has changed recently. "We have always taken the position that whatever is required to sustain jobs, to sustain economic growth, will be done." (Source:Mark Metherell, "Budget deficit could reach $100b: Tanner," April 6, 2009)

He is an advocate for globalised capitalism. “Lindsay Tanner has chosen instead to be an advocate for globalised capitalism, to persuade us that There Is No Alternative, and that what is good for business is good for government, good for unions and good for everyone.” (Source)

In Lindsay Tanner, "Climate change balancing act", The (Business) Age, 2 September 2009, he writes that

“to […]challege that the Government's in the pocket of big polluters is just juvenile name-calling. It's an easy sledge from someone who doesn't have to get legislation through the Senate, manage the impact on the economy, and ensure community opinion remains onside.”

He therefore seems to admit that the government is in the pocket of big polluters, but rejects criticism about this as juvenile. He then rolls on to justify being in the pockets of big business with:

“Big polluters employ hundreds of thousands of Australians. Their activities are woven throughout our entire economic framework.”

Top down government keeps us on the treadmill

I wouldn't agree with the remark about 'ensuring community opinion remains onside', because how would the government or the community know what its opinion was? It doesn't get any chance to voice it. All we hear is the corporate media's opinion of what community opinion is, and it never asks us either.

The fact is that the government is so dependent on taxes from wage-earners that it cannot allow those wage-earners any freedom to reduce carbon emissions by, for instance, supplementing their incomes through relocalised production of essentials (home gardens) and to reduce of their own volition working hours and consumption in favour of a more sociable lifestyles (local democracy and production minimises travel and fuel consumption). If people simply slowed down production, this would take away from the government’s income and power as well as that of big business. (Slowing down production slows down carbon emissions and gives us more time with less emissions.) And the government’s overspending to continuously pump up economic growth relies on the constant import of more and more paying immigrants, in order to add to the numbers of tax-payers.

Rome did the same thing to avoid its own fall. Eventually it was selling citizenship and land just like Australia in order to get more tax-payers. This did not stop it from falling apart though.

The government’s policies are driving all costs up, along with the price of land, water and electricity, and its own debt.

Lindsay accuses the other side of ‘cheap rhetorical flourish’ about big polluters, but then he subjects us to his own cheap rhetoric about how “in the difficult real world of politics you don't always get everything you want.”

Well, in Australia, it seems like big business does.

ACF and Climate Institute government friendly

Tanner follows up with,

“Key sections of the environment movement, such as the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Climate Institute, have accepted that the Government's proposals are reasonable.”

Well, thank you for fingering the culprits, Lindsay. In fact most of us in the Environment ‘movement’ gave up on the Australian Conservation Foundation years ago, and came to terms with the fact that it takes peoples’ money and represents the government position, forming a kind of road-block to any true engagement between the government and the environmentally concerned and informed public. As for the Climate Institute, so far, it just sounds like some kind of advertisement for itself. It’s not too obvious what it does besides issue press releases and solicit funds.

Greens make Lindsay and his mates uncomfortable

Towards his conclusion, Lindsay knocks the Greens for disagreeing with Labor and failing to “build coalitions with others who have different views”. Lindsay says this helps prevent any action occurring. But if you know Labor, ‘action’ means more of the same: more population growth, more debt and more deals with the big polluters – property development and infrastructure expansion. Lindsay should know: the ALP owns two big property investment companies of its own – Labor Holdings Propriety Limited and Labor Resources Propriety Limited. Wholly owned by the Queensland Branch of the Australian Labor Party. Both were built up by Kenneth Rudd and Wayne Swann. In fact I can’t really tell the difference between the ALP, ALP governments and commercial property development companies. (Source: Expert discusses 'deliberately confusing' labor donations.)

Lindsay also says he believes that the only reason the Greens join other non-Labor representatives to vote down Labor’s policies on climate change is to take votes from Labor.

Short lesson in power of small parties and independents in parliament

In fact, another reason could just be that the Greens are only doing what they can to stop the ALP from expanding the problem of increasing pollution. Here is a good video about the Greens and the role that small parties play in politics:

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