I was at the Brisbane City Hall presentation. The things I do on my days off to have fun.
Prof Garnaut is not a particularly powerful speaker, but the message was important.
He was asked about the importance of bipartisan support for the ETS, and what would happen if it didn’t happen. He responded that, as with most political activities, if people don’t like something they can vote for a different govt to change it and solve global warming by “hiding under their pillows” instead.
The audience was very responsive and applauded on the assertions that we are not going first, but we must go now, on the ETS. Also when a questioner tried to deny that global warming even exists, the audience was most negative. Prof Garnaut’s response was quite good, in saying that he had, in fact, spoken to many “climate change dissenters” and weighed their arguments with the much larger body of climate scientists, and came to the conclusions that he has outlined in the draft report.
A few other things:
1) In profile Prof Garnaut looks a lot like Marlon Brando.
2) After the presentation and questions, my wife and I went for lunch and for some shopping in the mall. We noticed the queues of people in front of Telstra, Optus and other phone shops with people lining up to buy iPhones. The missus and I figured that if so many people can queue up to buy an expensive phone, we can afford an ETS. We should not be that soft that we can afford luxuries that were only dreamed of 50 or 100 years ago, and complain bitterly that the world will end if some things get more expensive.
3) From my perspective, we are a rich country that is making bucket loads (shiploads?) of money from resources, and are politically stable with a generally peaceful, wealthy population. As Prof Garnaut mentioned, 300 million people in India live on less than $1.00 per day. I don’t see that sort of poverty here. So one of the reasons we should reduce emissions and carry the cost is simply because we can.
BTW: This might be of interest for those that want to know about political interference in science in the US.