Sustainable transport rally – “we can’t get much more car friendly than this”

There’s a rally and walk for sustainable transport happening in Brisbane city tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am. It’s another effort to try to draw attention to the bizarre cognitive dissonance that characterises the transport policies of the Brisbane City Council. There is a continued determination to spend hundreds of millions on tunnels and bridges to expand car usage, sitting blithely alongside statements and programs purportedly aimed at reduce emissions in the city.

This commentary on the Citizens Advocating Sustainable Transport site points out that “Council’s 2006-2007 budget allocates a tiny $412,000 to Greenhouse Gas Reduction (strategy 9.6.3) while pouring 503 million into planning for increased car use (page 102).”

The state government is little better, keenly pushing for the ‘Airport Link’ tunnel (which doesn’t actually go to the airport, but rather funnels onto the already overloaded East-West Arterial road). The project’s own figures confirm it is anticipated there will be a massive increase in private vehicle trips.

The State Transport Minister, Paul Lucas, was quoted in my local suburban paper, the City North News, last month boasting about a 58 per cent increase in annual road funding, from $1.25 billion to $1.98 billion, in a single year. “We can’t get much more car friendly than this”, he was quoted saying.

There’s a couple of different ways one could read that statement, but they’re probably both right. It is true that state government is keen to be as car friendly as possible, regardless of the economic, environmental and health costs, and it’s also true, due to those same costs, that we really can’t afford to get any more car friendly if we are serious about greenhouse emissions, air quality and liveable cities.

I don’t advocate an anti-car hairshirt approach to the issue. We need to look at ways to reduce car usage, or net emissions from car trips, wherever possible. Encouraging people to consider alternatives and providing more opportunity for alternatives to be taken up is important, but trying to create some sort of social stigma around car travel as a way of shaming people into doing other things is unlikely to work, and can also run the risk of creating a backlash.

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  1. for some years now consecutive govts have let developers put in big shopping centres and close local schools to centralise as mutch as they can . they have put no thought into the distance from serveses that developers site estates .
    for a lot of ppl now the trip to the school or to go shopping to the nearest place is a 15 to 30 minit car ride.
    bring back and support the local shops and schools
    build light indistrey near the estates .
    encorage those big companys that can move out of the city to enviromentaly friendly offeces in the suberbs.
    dont let developers take over local market gardens for houseing how stupid is it to destroy a food supply to build houses.
    thears a start to cut peoples dependance on cars .

  2. I’ve considered going to ask the “lord mayor”
    public meetings and ask him:
    1.Can you give me an example of a city where building more and more roads has reduced traffic congestion
    2. Laussane Swi has 200.000 people,yet they’ve just spent over $10 billion on an underground metro, per capita that would mean $100 billion would be need to be spent on an pub transport project do you see Bris spending $100 billion on a pub transport project and if not why not?
    I probaly don’t see much point as I’m likely to get the usual spin and bullshi*t.
    To be honest considering how many people are anti pub transport transport in Bris is not so bad,I think we need to educate the boguns (their the ones that are most anit pub transport that pub trasport is the way to go).For example I new a “boof head” that going by train from Bris to Gold Coast was the way to go they refused even after I told them it’s quick,cheaper and they use the newer train on that route,why are people like this?

  3. I notice Senator ,that Coalition Unity is suggesting by implication you are either justifying your political stance,or maybe, he has a way to reduce costs to active Senators and the taxpayer? What a problem solver he is with his quick Errol Fynn approach to everything.I dont know much about Brisbanes traffic except what I have heard,and like any built up area,traffic, is really troubling for me as a passenger,normally in the front seat.I dont think the Senator should answer CU after all it is some unwarranted snide remark,because, there is another angle to this besides what is pointed out by the Senator.That is the option,if any,when point a to b traveling is necessary,and at, an in, the most economical way,including, environmentally.I am sure if the Senator asked for a lift he would of got it,or, offered lifts.Strange thing about CU is that, as a friendly,social,economic and environmentally active choice doesnt appeal to CU! Travelling together to mutual destinations,is done by sports people,hobby people friends,workers to save a buck if it can be done,and by most people who know each other.I have even hitchhiked and got picked up by a lawyer who later became a MP. for the Liberals and lived,last time I noted at Hastings in Victoria.So it seems to me that whatever the point CU is trying to make, my experiences tell me, that CU doesnt meet a standard.When tunnels are built it unlikely Australian governments do not want people to be thrifty.

  4. Bannerman sympathises with your stance on this issue, Andrew, and also on the side-issue, if he can be so erudite to call it such, of climate change impacts. However, Public transport, per se, isn’t a BCC responsibility when one looks at rail. Rail carries far more commuter traffic than is perceived by our Lord Mayor. Rail is a State Government responsibility. Bannerman lives in the outer shires of the greater Brisbane catchement and uses ONLY rail when it comes to public transport. Anything else is too expensive and too pollution contributory, not to mention inefficient. However, rail is slow, crowded in the extreme, downright uncomfortable and inconvenient.
    The solution to Brisbane’s commuter transport issues lost any opportunity to exercise itself more than 60 years ago in town planning. Since the mid-forties, Brisbane has grown like topsie. Uncontrolled and generally unplanned in all manners which count. Buses are not the answer. Light rail has a place, albeit limited in scope. Monorail could have a far greater impact than is currently perceived by the Beattie government. In the meantime, the existing commuter cityrail system just doesn’t cut it if you happen to live more than 10 klicks from the CBD. Many more commuters live beyond the 10km mark than live inside the 10km mark. Therein lies your answer.
    Until rail is vastly improved with options such as monorail & light rail being taken seriously, Bannerman, as a commuter, much prefers to drive himself to where he needs to be, even if it means sitting in traffic for 45 minutes at a crawl. At least he has the radio and a comfortable seat.

  5. I know responding to trolls just encourages them, but I think it is worth responding to CU to re-emphasise the point I was trying to make at the end of my main post, which is that campaiging for more sustainable transport shouldn’t involve trying to lay some sort of guilt trip on people if they use a car to get somewhere.

    Encouraging all of us to reduce our greenhouse emissions shouldn’t mean we all go around looking for chances to call out “gotcha” in smug voices every time someone does something that is supposedly politically incorrect.

    For the record, I caught a bus into the rally, but I am also fortunate enough to be able to live close to the city – public transport options for many people who live further out are rather more limited, especially on a weeked.

    In any case, I’ve said before that even though I have a low emission, hyrbid car, am a vegetarian, and I walk or catch a bus to work more often then not when I’m in Brisbane, I still probably generate more carbon emmissions that the vast majority of the public, just because I fly so much, so I’m not preaching at anybody.

  6. Mr. Bartlett,

    If Western Nations, including Australia, are seriously concerned about emissions then a halt to immigration would insure a guaranteed reduction in emissions. Not only would there be less CO2 emissions from less people, but there would most likely be a reduction in transport use (cars, buses, etc.) with a corresponding increase in low-emission cars due to a lower tax burden on the people of Australia and elsewhere.

  7. Mr. Bartlett,

    There would be 2 additional effects stemming from a halt in immigration that those who are serious about man-made global warming would appreciate.

    First, a halt in immigration would give a truer picture of Australia’s responsibility in contributing to man-made global warming.

    Secondly, a halt in immigration would reverse the dilution of a truer Australian voice in doing what she was obligated to do to combat man-made global warming assuming she viewed it as dire a scenario as our elites proclaim.

    I am curious to see if those that are proclaiming seriousness about man-made global warming are willing to make some ideological sacrifices that they expect of others.

  8. Andrew:

    I think the Brisbane City Council is well aware that most people don’t give a stuff about the environment, or about cluttering the roads with too many cars.

    Can you please give us brief details of your alternative plan?


    But what are we going to do about more than 100,000 people moving to Queensland from INTERSTATE every year – cluttering our roads, causing housing shortages, and drinking our scanty water supply?

  9. Coral doesnt love me and I am Australian,and she is asking Thordaddy for advice.Like old Don Chipp noted as a trail blazer as one of the few Politicians with a unique view of the world,Coral wouldnt even want me to move up into Queeensland where I have a sister,my father and mother lived and worked in Queensland, and my sore little eyes were perving at someone at a Allnighter in a town not far from Stanthorpe..Wallengurra,or however it is spelt,and what a dry place that looks and I would say public transport is at most provided by friendly individuals at times.Come on Coral most Australian have similar problems ,and water and transport and emissions from cars etc.arent unique.

  10. Sorry I missed the rally yesterday.

    It is a worthy cause and as important a subject as any for the future of Brisbane. The city is investing in a guaranteed future for cars with its private-public partnerships to build the tunnels.

    There is now a vested interest in parties involved to the plan and it ties both the Government and the market to the propagation of the technology they have invested in.

    Thus like Melbourne and Sydney, the Government will funnel traffic deliberately into the tunnels in order to justify its need and also to make money for the co-sponsors.

    Meanwhile, the State Gov wants to spend $1.4 billion on an Ipswich motorway upgrade but the federal Government wants a bypass. But both policies have by-passed the strategic infrastructure that already duplicates the motorway: The Brisbane-Ipswich rail line.

    Why are there no governments spruiking multi-million plans to bring our public transport system into the 21st century?

    Of course the answer is that is the same reason why Paul Lucas can see no irony in his car-friendly boast in the local paper: there’s no votes in it.

    That’s why these rallies are needed: they change that perception, and they add to the level of education about the problems Brisbane is likely to face in the future as a result of short-sighted decisions today.


  11. Freeways and stuff were once more futuristic than the “Jetsons”.But for the last couple of decades their merit has deteriorated to the point of ridicule against puiblic transport as more economic efficient and environmentally friendly. But as Coral ( quite honestly, I suspect ) says, people dont’give a stuff. They are really virtually brainwashed with images of cars as symbolic of prestige and the good life from the cradle. Short of a cognitive mapping transformation of unprecedent and unimaginable proportions, nothing will be done before Australia is under six feet of melted Antarctic water.
    PS just noted pingback cooments on this ” cognitive dissonance” idea too and I agree Andrew has added another good article, latest in a series of them.

  12. Coral,

    Do you think that a halt in immigration would help reduce the displacement of those Australians you are speaking of?

    But again, notice how those elites that are so concerned about man-made global warming won’t take the first and most obvious step in combatting a catastrophe they claim will happen.

  13. Well,Sydney has failures or two re tunnels,and I am sure many Sydneysiders would find the Senators approach reasonable.The problem with the funnel them down the tunnel is, the hapless motorist know they are being milked besides a climate change concern agenda or not.From that perspective it is somewhat heartless I think to say they may not care.I would say they may want to care, but,how do you separate the milkers from the calves? I prefer to often give people the right to be common sensical and often they will take that option.More so if there is active encouragement.Motorists cannot help have feelings about other motorists,and it gets like when they are on talkback radio…many generalities are spoken in a way often that seems that the speaker thinks their view is unique and all encompassing in detail,and requirement.Here in N.S.W. we have a problem on the radio as publicity,that talks about the numbers of vehicles going through and cattle peeing not far from an outdoor eating area.The farmers are the problem with their cattle,but, the real problem is a lack of cost effective other solutions besides the one of upsetting those eating.I am sure the farmers feel the problem as much as those who get a whiff and see the pee.Whilst the smell may be quickly diluted ,it is not always good to be tucking in whilst herbivores are doing a cat walk on the cattle truck.It could be wise however if the cattle farmer warned the restaurant they are coming and going,by phone I suppose as common courtesy, until some other way is found.They could themselves as farmers eat at the same restaurant ,and,personally apologise,and have a little pamphlet left at the restaurant thanking the publics tolerance.With Brisbane traffic government should always support motorists to even get to like other motorists on the road,and due courtesy and respect everywhere including maybe regular and spot prizes to reduce human friction.Australians must find even when tunnels are built other passive uses.

  14. Bannerman: I agree with you about the importance of rail and the dismal fialure of the state government in this area. All the talk of fixing up the shambles along the Ipswich motorway ignores (a) that major residential land releases have been allowed in the surrounding areas without any planning to cope with the huge increase in people and traffic that would occur, and (b) that expanding rail services along exactly the same corridor would help allieviate the demand on the road.

    The state government (like so many before it) also broke its pledge to build a rail link to Redcliffe, whilst also allowing widespread residential development of suburbs right next to where the rail line would go past.

    Coral: first part of any solution is not to spend billions facilitating more car travel. Next part of using some of that more facilitating public transport. A longer-term aspect is better planning to ensure the carrying capacity of a region doesn’t exceed what is feasible from a natural resource and liveability aspect.

    Thordaddy: it is unfortunate that the “elites” you describe only became concerned about global warming very recently. But despite them now voicing some concerns, you are right to say that they “won’t take the first and most obvious step in combatting” it. Still, even the elites, who have resisted action on climate change for so long and tried to shift the blame anywhere else they could think of, haven’t (yet) tried anything as absurd as blaming migration for rising emissions. Given that emissions are a global problem, rather than only a problem if people live in Brisbane when they emit them, it would be a ludicrous argument to make, even for them.

  15. Mr. Bartlett,

    Sometimes politicians say the darnedest things like when you stated,

    Still, even the elites, who have resisted action on climate change for so long and tried to shift the blame anywhere else they could think of, haven’t (yet) tried anything as absurd as blaming migration for rising emissions.

    In order to evaluate this statement we must assume that the elites either think a halt in immigration is unthinkable or they haven’t even thought of it as a possible solution. If it is the former then we are exposing the ideologues as their dire predictions of catastrophic weather doesn’t match their willingness to make real and guaranteed sacrifices to combat man-made global warming. If it is the latter then we have exposed incompetent elites claiming to save us from disaster while not in tune with ALL possible solutions.

    Which group do you fit in or are you making the claim that immigration to Australia DOES NOT increase CO2 emissions from Australia?

  16. I don’t fit in any of your false groups or categories, thordaddy. Why don’t you go ask the elites what they think, (assuming they’ll respond)?

    Halting immigration from one country to another will not reduce net global emissions – as I said, it is a ludicrous proposition to suggest that it would, and only an ideologue such as yourself would try to argue it.

    Unless you are arguing that poor people in poor countries shold be kept in poverty so they’ll emit fewer emissions, in which case you should say so. I have seen a few extremists argue that people in poor countries should be stopped from becoming wealthier so they will produce fewer emissions, but it’s certainly not something I’d advocate, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone I’d classify as an ‘elite’ arguing it either.

  17. Mr. Bartlett,

    Why have you contradicted yourself?

    How can you ask the Australian people to cut CO2 emissions as you advocate for the continuation of approximately 100,000 immigrants a year who will, as you’ve indicated above, go from a position of lesser production to a position of greater production thereby emitting more CO2 emission in the name of Australia?

    Of course, approximately 100,000 immigrants will also produce more travel and transportation on top of the energy expended to migrate. All of this adds to the responsibility of Australia in contributing man-made global warming while giving the perception that poorer countries have less culpability.

    You are advocating for increased CO2 emissions (immigration) while asking Australians to cut back on their CO2 emissions (energy output). A nifty way to “equal” things up, I suppose?

  18. I guess immigration must spread the pollution out a bit more on a global basis (good globally, bad locally), but I still believe that mankind’s contribution to global warming cannot be more than minimal.

    I think we’re in an interglacial period, which could be described more simply as an “intermittent thaw”.

    Yes thordaddy, I think it is possible that immigration might be partly responsible for masses of people moving to Queensland from interstate – since it must affect the job market.

    Yes Andrew, shifting spending from tunnels (which might crack from drought, or flood from thaw) to a better public transport system sounds like an excellent alternative.

    philip travers:

    You can come to Queensland if you want to. No one is standing in the way.

    Thordaddy is much more intelligent than most people think. I think he is concerned about Australian air becoming more polluted, which to me is a reasonable concern – but the net contribution of immigration on a global basis must be minimal. People “jetset” everywhere these days.

    I think the idea of “spot prizes to reduce human friction” on the roads doesn’t take account of the hardened nature of the modern motorist – but it’s a nice thought anyway.

  19. Thordaddy, note your comments.
    They actually DO fit in, and within the wider concern expressed by Andrew about ( lack of ) PLANNING.
    BTW Andrew, not just in or state Labor sinecures but federally as the debacles over environemt recently also demonstrate. After watching a thing on “Foreign Correspondent” on local ABC tv tonite about rampant development and feeble government responses in the tourist precinct of Spain that makes our problems look small. Lack of response from Spanish govt, as to local government authorities there left underfunded and vulnerable to developers.
    World wide thing with neoliberalism and globalisation also factors.
    Am getting older and remember these self-same problems when growing up in the boom period of the sixties, so when it comes to forward planning, infrastructure, developers and politicians; nothing new under the sun!

  20. Coral,

    I’m trying to look at the bigger picture and why many of our elites, not just in Australia, but across Western nations, are so adamant about slowing our production as we nonetheless continue to bring in waves and waves of immigrants to produce for our economies?

    We cut our CO2 emissions while immigration increases it. And so we’re not only responsible for providing a stable society for a perpetual flow of mass immigrants to prosper (produce CO2 emissions), but we also get to continue to take almost ALL the responsibility for man-made global warming by settling for less. Who said that, “no good deed goes unpunished?”

  21. You are right Coral – ‘jetsetting’ (or air travel) is an aspect of greenhouse emissions which is not acknowledged much (although a bit outside the topic of this post). It is the only aspect of immgration which could be said to contribute to global emmissions – the greenhouse gases emitted as part of travelling to the new country. But that would be minimal compared to emissions from people travelling for business, tourism or general visiting purposes. Other than that, the contribution of migration to emissions is zero – it’s always handy to be able to blame other people to avoid responsibility ourselves, and migrants have been used for this purpose for centuries.

    Reducing global population growth is a good idea though, but that’s a whole other debate.

    I presume Thordaddy is intelligent too, and knows what he is writing is mostly nonsense, and he is just posting it to try to bait people. But maybe I’m wrong – one can only go on what people actually say.

  22. re. Thordaddy’s point as to importing labour, the only alternative must therefore be to increase EFFECTIVE, GENUINE aid and investment to poorer countries, to enable them to increase the ability of the masses in these countries to fend for themselves, to obviate the need for them to seek a future elsewhere.
    But this would mean challenging business imperatives as to untrammelled access to profits, regardless of whether this damages source nations and localities everywhere, as happens currently.
    We would need to reconstitute some form of meaningful global governance to ensure properly targeted investment that also benefits locales.
    To ilustrate the point, this writer cites the micro example of the debate going on in Australia as to how to best manage the Murray Darling basin. Some of those who some would describe as “elites” have called for the depoliticisation of decision-making as to this asset; to have its management turned over to geographers, climatologists, agronomists and ecologists as well as economists, to eradicate the pork-barrelling and ecological waste that goes with political control of the asset. Unfortunately, precisly those vested interests that benefit from the current set-up are fighting this tooth and nail, including the Howard government. On the macro side, the world needs likewise to resolve conflicts between narrow national or venal interests keen to maintain the status quo for exploitation and the quick buck and the needs both of the resources, as to future viability and parallel to this, the needs of the majority of humanity.
    So, when you talk of “Elites” holding things up, Thordaddy, I should conclude you are also referring to the likes of Howard and Cheney and their big business friends, far more than well-meaning intellectuals, because the former push hardest of all for labour dereg to play off working people against each other.

  23. Paul,

    I thought the issue at hand was CO2 emissions and the dire need to cut such emissions with Western nations being the most culpable in producing such emissions? Once again, as has been noted, large waves of immigrants from “poorer countries” are flocking to Western countries in order to better their lives, i.e., fuel man-made global warming in the country they immigrate to. By coming from a position of lesser production to a position of greater production, immigrants are adding to CO2 emissions that native Australians are tasked to cut.

    One can see the obvious problem with such a situation. As Western nations are compelled to cut CO2 emissions (produce and consume less), our “elites” are unbridled open-borders advocates making the task all the harder and calling into question the cataclysmic predictions of man-made global warming.

  24. you are just arguing for poor people to stay poor people thordaddy, regardless of what country they are in. It may be more convenient if they stay poor somewhere where wealthier people can’t see them, but it doesn’t make any difference from a greenhouse point of view.

  25. Mr. Bartlett,

    For someone who makes a habit of claiming to be a victim of mischaracterizations, please let me clarify the issue.

    For those “elites” that have warned of the dire future that lie ahead as a result of man-made global warming and are also advocates of unmitigated open Western borders, including Australia, I ask if such a position is politically and/or morally tenable?

    Can YOU ask Australians to make sacrifices in their lifestyles while advocating for immigrants to come to Australia and better their lives?

    If Australians are tasked to cut CO2 emissions because we are facing an existential crisis according to the man-made global warming proponents, is it fair to make that task more difficult by taking an open borders position?

    If man-made global warming poses the kind of existential threat that many of its proponents have proffered, shouldn’t ALL potential solutions be on the table for consideration?

  26. Just had another comment wiped out by your editing facility,Andrew, so will content myself with referring readers to Margo Kingston’s Web Diary, if that’s ok. An excerpt from Prof. Jeffrey Sachs is up which is relevent to this thread of late, entitled: “The climate change revolution” and looks at ACTUAL costs and solutions, indirectly revealing the emptiness of anti reform fear tactics and where these come from.

  27. thordaddy:

    The immigration issue really is a moot argument, especially when you consider that “man-made global warming” is little more than a furphy anyway.

  28. Coral,

    I agree that man-made global warming is a plausible scenario and there is strong science and commonsense that underly such assumptions. What is highly contestable is the predicted one to four degree increase in average global temperatures over the next century causing cataclysmic acts of nature that may present an existential threat.

    It is silly to ask those politicians that push such flimsy doomsday scenarios to sacrifice petty political perks. Those “elites” must make political sacrifices in order to display there committment to combatting man-made global warming. Mr. Bartlett’s stance shows a hint of demogaguery as he fails to answer those questions I posed above about his global warming and immigration stance. Why are Australians being asked to sacrifice their lives for the betterment of the “other?” And Coral, your willingness to make immigration a “moot point” is music to Mr. Bartlett’s ears.

    Once again, Western nations are being asked to make sacrifices for the betterment of humanity and we get to pay for it with further indebtedness.

  29. “sacrfice petty political perks”?! Other than knowing you’re deliberately trying to be inflammatory, I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you think it would be a ‘political sacrifice’ to play the populist card of blaming migrants, you’re even more ignorant than your contributions indicate.

    You may continue to argue that the poor should stay poor so the rich can keep living as they wish, but don’t pretend there’s any intellectual case to justify your position. You’ve made your point, such as it is, a number of times already, and I’ve corrected your assertions and answered your questions more than once, – you can continue to ignore the answers if it makes it easier for you to keep up your baiting, but don’t expect me to further facilitate it.

  30. thordaddy:

    It seems we disagree on far more things than I originally thought.

    I find the plausibility of man-made global warming wanting – except on a limited basis.

    In Brisbane, we have already experienced temperature increases of at least 1 to 4% over the last few years – as evidenced by the thermometer, and a row of unworn jumpers hanging in the cupboard.

    I’m still wondering what influence this might have had on an earthquake which cracked my driveway right down the middle and rotated the piers of my house in December 2002. We don’t normally get earthquakes here.

    It stands to reason that global warming could produce unusual weather patterns and cause catastrophic geographical events.

    After all, the earth has a long history of these things, dating back millions of years – to times when there weren’t even any man-made bonfires to create any little plumes of smoke – let alone large scale pollution.

    Anyone who has studied chemistry, biology, geology and physics (even at a high school level) ought to understand the logic of changes associated with heating, expansion, condensation, compression etc etc, which might occur on a cyclical basis due to some universal (of the universe) influence.

    As for your claims of demagoguery, my understanding is that it is the job of politicians to represent the people based on the information provided to them (Greek root “polis” – of the people).

    It isn’t their fault that they’re being fooled by a bunch of environmental extremists, who probably belong to a hidden interest group.

    Not all scientists agree with the load of palaver that’s been bandied about for years.

    I have my own concerns about the social ramifications of large scale immigration, but I look at global warming – not from a LOCAL perspective, or even a GLOBAL perspective – but from a UNIVERSAL perspective.

    Now I have a question for you, based on the first sentence of #post 32.

    How could strong science and commonsense underlie an assumption???

  31. Coral,

    I say man-made global warming is plausible due to the science behind the “greenhouse effect.” Human beings have emitted a greater quantity of CO2 emissions (greenhouse gas) which has in turn trapped more of the sun’s radiation. This has and will warm up the Earth’s temperature. I think this is plausible and makes sense as far as the credibility of the science that underlies it.

    What is pure demagoguery is the prediction of an existential crisis due to man-made global warming. There is no science to back such fortune-telling and it behooves scientists to say as much.

    But I am struck at your unwillingness to see the implications of Mr. Bartlett’s own statements. Clearly, “climate change” serves political interests like “equaling the playing field.”

    Why else would he suggests that I…,

    may continue to argue that the poor should stay poor so the rich can keep living as they wish, but don’t pretend there’s any intellectual case to justify your position.

    I have clearly made no such argument and most Australians would chuckle at the idea that they are “rich.”

    I have asked why Australians are being compelled to downgrade their lifestyles while their representatives are advocating for the greater well-being of foreign immigrants? I ask why Australians are asked to cut CO2 emissions while the “elites” advocate for policies that increase CO2 emissions making your task that much harder and in turn requiring a greater reduction in one’s lifestyle?

    I’ve received no answers.

  32. You can choose to ignore the answers I give, Mr thordad, but it is false to say you haven’t received any.

    You may think it’s chuckling material to assert that Australians are rich, but the people from third world countries who you argue need to stay poor would probably disagree.

    and seeing you have decided to label me an “elite”, you should correct your falsehood that I am advocating policies that increase CO2 when I am on the record clearly and repeatedly doing exactly the opposite.

    Coral – you can choose to have a different position to the consensus view of the IPCC, but it is absurd to label them “a bunch of environmental extremists”.

  33. Mr. Bartlett,

    Your argument is seemingly incoherent unless one can recognize your political ideology.

    Let us say that I oppose Australian immigration because I want to “continue to argue that the poor should stay poor so the rich can keep living as they wish,” as you have claimed?

    I nevertheless assert that I oppose Australian immigration as a solution to the problem of Australian CO2 emissions.

    Your retort has taken the following forms.

    “Still, even the elites, who have resisted action on climate change for so long and tried to shift the blame anywhere else they could think of, haven’t (yet) tried anything as absurd as blaming migration for rising emissions.

    My answer to this was to ask how ANY solutions could be off the table given the prediction of an existential threat from man-made global warming?

    Halting immigration from one country to another will not reduce net global emissions.

    My answer to this is that this retort does not jive with your notion that immigration to Australia is the process where the poor get richer. How does one get “richer” if not by production? And what is increased production and ALL that it entails but the equivalent to the increase in CO2 emissions?

    My questions:

    Does immigration to Australia create additional CO2 emissions?

    If not, does this mean immigration has no net economic benefit?

    If it does increase CO2 emissions, is it fair to ask Australians to cut their production while advocating for the increased production of foreign immigrants?

    If immigration to Australia doesn’t increase global CO2 emissions, does this mean that Australia isn’t responsible for an increase of CO2 emissions due in part to an open-borders immigration policy?

    If man-made global warming presents an existential threat (I haven’t read you object to this notion), shouldn’t ALL OPTIONS be on the table?

  34. Andrew:

    Time will tell who and what is absurd.


    I agree that the prediction of an existential crisis due to man-made global warming is crazy.

    Poor people moving to more affluent countries will certainly contribute more to pollution in general (running cars etc), but I wouldn’t deny them the right to a better lifestyle for the sake of a bit of CO2.

    You’re barking up the wrong tree if you think I’m going to support you on this one.

    I supported 2 Latin American children through World Vision for 18 years so they, their families and their communities could have better lives.

    On a global basis, Australians are rich. There’s nothing to chuckle about at all. Our children are comparatively safe and well provided for.

    Joe Hockey may say he wants something better for all of our children and grandchildren, but most of them are already far too spoiled.

    He just wants to send all of the adults out to work – leaving the kids without any parents – having no regard for the social repercussions that will follow.

    Sorry for moving off-topic.

  35. For a final time, thordy:

    Thordaddy’s questions: 

    Does immigration to Australia create additional CO2 emissions?

    No it doesn’t. People generate greenhouse emissions regardless of what country they live in.

    If not, does this mean immigration has no net economic benefit?

    No, it doesn’t. There is plenty of evidence that immigration can have a net economic benefit.

    If it does increase CO2 emissions, is it fair to ask Australians to cut their production while advocating for the increased production of foreign immigrants?

    It doesn’t increase CO2 emissions, so your question is redundant. However, it is certainly ‘fair’ to advocate that countries that are well off should bear a greater load than poor countries in absorbing the costs of reductions.

    If immigration to Australia doesn’t increase global CO2 emissions, does this mean that Australia isn’t responsible for an increase of CO2 emissions due in part to an open-borders immigration policy?

    Australia doesn’t have an open-borders immigration policy. But immigration does not increase global emissions, so it’s a nonsensical question anyway.

    If man-made global warming presents an existential threat (I haven’t read you object to this notion), shouldn’t ALL OPTIONS be on the table?

    An issue like immigration policy is not directly related to global warming, so trying to suggest it should be an “option on the table” is nonsensical. The options on the table should only include policy areas which actually address the issue. Otherwise the table gets rather cluttered, which makes it a lot harder to pick out the options that actually relate to the issue at hand.

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