Just what we need: another denier in the White House

From The New Republic:

Astoundingly, Sarah Palin has denied that climate change is man-made–not in 1996, not in 1998, not in 2000, not in 2002, but in an interview posted on August 29, 2008.

In response to this question: “What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?” Palin answered: “A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”

Oh mate. I wouldn’t care so much if it weren’t for the fact that both Labour and National politicians seem to constantly take their cues from these American turkeys.  She’s also quite keen on drilling large holes all over her own state of Alaska in the search for more oil to feed the addiction.  And, look, we’ve got politicians here wanting to do the same thing to the Great South Basin.

A former oil addict

This guy kind of puts the Helen Clark/John Key fast follower climate change debate into context:

Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of global carpet manufacturer Interface… talked of his crusade to transform his petroleum-dependent Atlanta-based company into a sustainable enterprise that seeks to never take another drop of oil from the earth.

…Today Interface is the world’s largest commercial modular carpet manufacturer. Anderson said the move 14 years ago had already saved the company $372 million – and they’ve only captured half the potential savings.

Net greenhouse gas emissions are down 82 per cent on 1996 base line levels, yet sales have increased by two-thirds and profits have doubled. Fossil fuel consumption is also down 60 per cent per unit manufactured.

Never take another drop?  That’s a serious AA response to oil addiction.  I can’t see Helen Clark turning up to his addiction meeting.

The epiphany occurred when he was 60. The industrial company he founded was just over 21 years old. It had offices in more than 100 countries, manufacturing plants in four continents, and had survived three recessions.

“I had no environmental vision. In my whole life, I had never given a thought to what my company was doing to the earth.”

With the address to his team drawing near, a book, Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, landed on his desk.

“Within 50 pages, I am a convicted plunderer of the earth. It is a spear to the chest.”

That was August 31, 1994.

And yet we’re still arguing about trying to reach the incredibly modest goal of meeting our Kyoto goal – getting back to our 1990 emission levels.  The ETS is a tiny 2% part of the solution.  It’s time we see action from someone other than just the Greens equivalent to the type of action Interface is taking.

Globalisation becomes too expensive

The New York Times has been talking about the impact rising oil prices are having on globalisation.  The key point is:

Cheap oil, the lubricant of quick, inexpensive transportation links across the world, may not return anytime soon, upsetting the logic of diffuse global supply chains that treat geography as a footnote in the pursuit of lower wages. Rising concern about global warming, the reaction against lost jobs in rich countries, worries about food safety and security, and the collapse of world trade talks in Geneva last week also signal that political and environmental concerns may make the calculus of globalization far more complex.

The story is demonstrated by US electric car maker, Tesla, choosing to manufacture its batteries in California rather than importing them from Thailand via installation in Britain.

The cost of shipping a 40-foot, or 12-meter, container from Shanghai to the United States has risen to $8,000, compared with $3,000 early in the decade, according to a recent study of transportation costs. Big container ships, the pack mules of the 21st-century economy, have shaved their top speed by nearly 20 percent to save on fuel costs, substantially slowing shipping times.

The study, published in May by the Canadian investment bank CIBC World Markets, calculates that the recent increase in shipping costs is on average the equivalent of a 9 percent tariff on trade. “The cost of moving goods, not the cost of tariffs, is the largest barrier to global trade today,” the report concluded, and as a result “has effectively offset all the trade liberalization efforts of the last three decades.”

The Greens have been consistent and constant questioners of the current neo-liberal globalisation agenda because of the economic damage it has done to local communities and the environment.  But it’s not good enough for us to sit back and wait for globalisation to collapse under its own oily weight.  We need to act now to make sure we rebuild our local manufacturing, diverse farming, and public transport infrastructure so that we can manage a transition to a positive new economy where we can supply the goods and services we need in our own towns and cities and countryside, rather than importing everything on the credit card that is our billions of dollars large trading deficit.

Brian Gordon from Canada’s equivalent of gblog has more on the topic here.