Year 2, Month 7, Day 27: There’s Something About Julia

More on Australia’s carbon tax plans, from the July 10 NYT:

SYDNEY — Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia announced a plan on Sunday that would tax the carbon dioxide emissions of the country’s 500 worst polluters and create the second-biggest emissions trading program in the world, after the European Union’s.

The plan is projected to cut 159 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2020, the government said. In 2010, Australia produced 577 million tons of carbon emissions, according to the Department of Climate Change.

This is basically yesterday’s letter, rearranged and reconfigured. It’s fun to use the word “nobility” in the same paragraph with a reference to American politicians. It’s kind of like using the word “genteel” while discussing a Farrelly brothers film. Sent July 11:

Washington wants us to believe that unraveling the safety net for our most defenseless citizens in the name of deficit reduction is somehow an act of political courage, since those same citizens (unsurprisingly) don’t like the idea. But conservatives’ hypocritical posturings have always been supported by the wealthiest and most powerful forces in our economy — and with billions of dollars behind them, their casual dismissal of the needs of millions of citizens has nothing of nobility in it. By contrast, Australia’s Julia Gillard has dared to show something few of our politicians can even contemplate: visionary concern for her nation’s future. By imposing a tax on carbon pollution, she’s confronted both the powerful coal industry and the inchoate fears of her fellow citizens. Why? Because Prime Minister Gillard recognizes that the greenhouse effect and its destructive consequences will be far more expensive than any amount of deficit spending.

Warren Senders

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