Envoy surprised by climate of scepticism
JONATHAN PEARLMAN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT
November 14, 2009
BRITAIN'S new high commissioner,
has expressed surprise that Australians are still debating whether humans cause climate change and says other nations have long since ''moved on''.
In her first public comments since arriving in Canberra three weeks ago, Baroness Amos, a former leader of the House of Lords, said Australia was well-positioned to lead the international community on climate change but the public debate should move beyond scepticism and negativity to finding solutions.
Her comments come days after a senior Liberal, Nick Minchin, said he and most of his party colleagues believed man-made climate change was a myth.
''I have been surprised that the science itself is being questioned,'' she said. ''These are things where there have been debates over a long period of time in other countries and where we have reached conclusions and moved on.
''In the UK, there is a degree of political consensus about what in broad terms needs to be done. There is a lot of debate about how we do it. You would certainly not see on a daily basis … the kind of negative reporting that you have here.''
British envoys tend to be among the most influential of the foreign diplomats in Canberra and usually have a direct line to senior political and business leaders. When she first met Kevin Rudd, on her third day in the country, Baroness Amos presented the Prime Minister with a world map showing the potentially horrific global consequences of rising temperatures, including the risk of more dangerous bushfires.
''Australia as a country has seen the impact of some of this, in terms of drought and what is happening with annual fires,'' she said.
''I was a bit surprised at the negativity of some of the debate … It would be great for Australia to be out there and leading the way. Being a resource-rich country does not mean that, in putting in place measures that lead to clean-coal technology and lower emissions, economically you need to fall behind.''
Baroness Amos, who was born in Guyana in South America, said relations between Britain and Australia were evolving and should focus on future common goals - such as promoting human rights or dealing with cultural diversity - rather than dwelling on their shared past.
''We did go through a period where we took the relationship for granted. We just assumed we had strong historical ties and a very strong legacy and it would just go on and on.
''We should look at what we can do together as nations, particularly how we can take the partnership between our young people from being about travel and working holidays to … looking forward in the world.''
Baroness Amos said a decision on whether to become a republic was ''definitely an issue for Australia'' and would not affect relations with Britain.
The baroness, who first visited Australia for a Commonwealth leaders' meeting in 2002, is a keen cricket, tennis and soccer fan but is still ''getting the hang'' of Australian rules. ''It's a sport-mad nation. It seems to have got the balance right between working hard and enjoying life.''
Baroness Amos, who was a political appointment rather than a career diplomat, was posted for a year but said she hoped to stay on if the Labour Government loses next year's election.
Dear Baroness Amos, GO HOME NOW or STFUP, you like the majority of your socialist ideologues have nothing to contribute to Australia,as a matter of fact you sound STUPID and ignorant in the extreme to say the least.
The European Parliaments “England” would be a far more suitable environment for you and your cabal of like thinkers to wank in.
May I ask just how many times you and your personally selected pampered Socialist “pooches” have FARTED since you arrived in Australia, just how much C0 2 you have expelled and how much tax you have paid to Kevin 07,Penny Wong and Peter Garrett for engaging in such anti environmentally sensitive activities?
How about you just shut the Fuck UP and pretend you are ascending the ladder of evolution, collect your pay packet and chill out, and when your contract expires just fuck off back to Guyana and share the wealth that you have been able to extract from the social and political system you claim you are so determined to destroy, before you are deported,in chains back to whence from where you came, our jails are full, we don’t need any more snake oil sales “persons”