This is a table copied from Wikipedia showing the 15 most populous nations and I noticed that somehow Australia is not listed. Could it possibly be that it’s because as of 2007 (a year after the figures presented in this table) our population was a mere 20,434,176? According to Wikipedia, “as of July 5, 2008, the world’s population is believed to be approximately 6,708,083,942.” That means that Australia represents 0.30% of the world population.
When the present Labor Government won the election last year one of the promises they stood on was the signing of the Kyoto Treaty and true to their word Australia ratified the Kyoto Protocol on December the 3rd 2007, but at what cost to the Australians ? As Aussies we want to do our bit for the environment but what is the point if the rest of the world does not follow suit? When you consider the figures above I would suggest that our ‘carbon footprint’ compared to those other nations is minuscule and any savings made would not be noticed if the other countries did not follow suit.
In todays paper, Kevin Rudd, who is pushing for a national Emissions Trading Scheme to start by 2010, was asked if he was willing to do his part and “Share the pain with the people by picking up his tab for power, lighting and heating bills at The Lodge when the scheme was introduced.” After all, he admits that it would add financial burdens to all Australians so why shouldn’t he and the rest of his political mates pay their share? In response his office said,
The Prime Minister will not be changing the long standing practices of previous prime ministers in relation to these matters. The Prime Minister understands the cost of living pressures that confront Australia’s working families, carers and seniors. He also understands that Australians want the Australian Government to take action on climate change.
He understands but is not willing to share the burden? This from a man who earns $370,000 per year, not including perks, like a paid butler and a tax payer funded nanny for his youngest child. Not to forget that his wife, Theresa Rein, owns a company that turned over $260 million last year. This from the man who after signing the Kyoto Protocol said “We must all share the burden.” So much for leading by example.